Ditch the Junk for Lent: A 40 Day Challenge
Today, for Christians around the world, is the first day of Lent. A 40 day/40 night period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Traditionally, an individual will pick up something to give up for Lent (and hopefully stick with giving that up after Lent is over). For me, this year, I’m resolving to ditch the junk for Lent. And by junk, I mean anything that isn’t healthy or useful in my life. This applies to food, clutter, items that I’ve been holding on to for whatever reason or another… you name it. As a family we’re taking steps this year to detoxify and with Lent here, I think that this is a perfect time to becoming really proactive about it.
During this 40 day period I’ll be evaluating parts of my life where I can make changes and ditch the junk for Lent. I also invite you to join me in this challenge. Every week, I’ll focus on a different area and set realistic goals and take steps to ditch the junk for good.
First, why don’t you download your workbook:
>>>> Ditch the Junk for Lent Workbook <<<<
In this workbook, you’ll find either a 6 area focus or 4 area focus plan with simple steps (7 or 10 depending on which you choose) so you can ditch the junk for Lent. Towards the end of the challenge, I’ll have a new workbook that focuses on keeping up with the changes that you’re making. More free printables will also be added throughout this challenge and several e-mails will be sent out for subscribers only, so be sure to subscribe for updates!
For my first focus area in my ditch the junk challenge, I’m working on ditching junk food.
I know I’ve said it before, but eating healthier is really one of the most important steps when you want to start living a healthier lifestyle. It all begins with baby steps though so don’t think it’s something you can do overnight. Start small. One way you can begin is by ditching the junk food from your diet.
Why is it important to ditch the junk food?
Just as the name suggests junk food is junk.
- Empty calories
- Leads to water retention
Junk food is full of calories that do absolutely nothing for your body. These are called empty calories because they have no or very little nutritional value. The truth is that most of these calories come from sugar and fats and they will do nothing but increase weight and body fat.
Junk food can also cause you to retain water which will make you feel bloated and sluggish. This causes you to feel tired instead of having the energy to get up and move around. The long term effects of eating junk food can be extreme from causing you to be overweight to causing the clogging of arteries that leads to heart attack.
But junk food tastes so good!
Why do people love junk food? The truth is that our brains have very positive reactions to fatty and sugary foods. It induces “feel good” hormones in the brain that actually mimic the effects of powerful addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. It is no wonder that we need them.
How many people have cravings for spinach? (… maybe I do from time to time)
But, cravings for ice cream, chips, soda and cookies is a whole other matter. In order to overcome these perilous food addictions, you must retrain your body, change old habits and change tastes. It takes time and effort, but, it can be done.
Honestly, when your body is craving something unhealthy, it’s usually an indication that you’re lacking in another area that could be healthier for you.
Did you know that there are thousands of fitness conscious people who NEVER touch any junk food? Yes it’s really true!
Removing junk food from your diet is an important way to become proactive when it comes to your health.
How To Ditch Junk Food From Your Diet
It starts with some common sense.
Many people say that it is cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat healthy food. Or they use the excuse that they just don’t like the way healthy food tastes.
First you will have to reprogram your taste buds to get used to eating healthy foods. You have been eating junk food all of your life, this is what your body is used to and what it will crave but it is up to you to retrain your body and your mind to crave healthy foods.
It is not cheaper to eat junk food!
It may take some planning when you are removing junk food from your diet, but, it is possible to eat healthy on the same budget you have right now.
Healthier Substitutions For Junk food
When you remove junk food from your diet you will find that you suffer from cravings. Here are a few substitutions you can use to get past the cravings.
• A square of dark chocolate instead of a chocolate candy bar
• Unsalted pretzels or no butter popcorn instead of chips
• Baked vegetable strips instead of chips
• Raw nuts instead of chips for a crunchy snack
• Plain yogurt with fruit, honey, or nuts instead of ice cream
• Flavored sparkling water instead of soda
• Fresh fruit instead of cake and cookies
• Raisins instead of candy
• Cherries instead of candy
Substituting In Recipes
There are also ways that you can alter your favorite recipes to create a healthier version. For example instead of using butter in your cakes and cookies you can create a healthier version by substituting the butter with apple sauce.
You can also use non-fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise. If you are a real lover of mayonnaise than try replacing it with avocado on your sandwiches. It has the same texture and you never miss the empty calories of the mayonnaise.
These are just a few things that you can do to remove the junk food from your diet. There are so many other options that you can do, but, rest assured it is possible to remove the junk food from your diet and replace it with much healthier alternatives. This will ensure your good health and the health of your family.
What other ways can you think of to ditch the junk food? Remember this doesn’t mean that you’re going entirely organic, just taking steps to ditch the junk food.
This isn’t an overnight process, but one that takes steps, commitment, and time.